Wrong-way drivers a rare but deadly threat on California's roads

A California lawmaker wants the state to look at ways of reducing wrong-way accidents after a deadly crash.

Lawmaker wants Caltrans to study ways of reducing wrong-way accidents

The recent deadly crash along Highway 50 near Sacramento is leading one California lawmaker to look at ways of preventing wrong-way crashes, according to KCRA News. The recent accident claimed the lives of four people, including the wrong-way driver herself. Although wrong-way car accidents are rare in California, experts say they are far more likely to be fatal compared with other types of accidents. Furthermore, such accidents tend to be caused by impaired, distracted, or confused drivers.

Fiery crash

According to CBS Sacramento, the crash occurred on April 22 when a teenage motorist drove at least five miles along Highway 50 in the wrong direction. She eventually collided with a truck, which led to a fiery crash that killed the wrong-way driver along with three occupants in the truck. Police have yet to determine whether alcohol was a factor in the accident.

The crash has given urgency to one California lawmaker's bill, the Wrong-Way Drivers Crash Data Evaluation Act, which would require the California Highway Patrol and Caltrans to study ways of reducing wrong-way accidents. The lawmaker points out that the state hasn't studied ways of reducing wrong-way accidents since 1989.

Rare but fatal

Although wrong-way crashes are not common, when they do happen they tend to be extremely serious. Furthermore, they appear to be on the upswing in the past few years in the state. In 2011, for example, just 27 people were killed in California in wrong-way accidents. The following year, that rate had soared to 53, while in 2013 it still remained high at 44.

Perhaps not surprisingly, over half of wrong-way accidents involve a drunk driver. What makes these crashes particularly bad is that wrong-way drivers tend to drive in the fast lane, falsely believing that they are in the slow lane. In addition to drunk drivers, safety experts say seniors account for a disproportionate number of wrong-way crashes, often because they get confused about traffic signs and inadvertently end up going in the wrong direction.

Accident victims

The risks posed to otherwise safe and responsible motorists of California's roads and highways are numerous, as the above article shows. Negligent and reckless drivers take the lives of countless victims each year and cause injuries to many more.

Anybody who has been the victim of a reckless driver should get in touch with a personal injury attorney immediately. Car accidents are not only painful and traumatizing, they also tend to lead to seemingly insurmountable expenses. An experienced attorney can help victims pursue compensation in order to help ease the financial burden created by an accident.

Keywords: car, auto, accident, injury